How To Get Rid of Poor People

The quickest way to get rid of lower-income families is to make their homes illegal. Inventing cosmetic standards puts a bullseye on lower-priced rental properties. For example, rusty metal surfaces will not be allowed. Guess what a 1970s mobile home is made out of? And do you think it’s cost-effective to sand and paint a trailer of that vintage? A whole trailer park consisting of those homes? Of course not — and that’s their goal. The parks will disappear, forcing the residents to find somewhere else to live, most likely somewhere else since our college student population has pushed the cost of a standard 3-bedroom home to over $1200 a month. Owners of expensive properties can afford to meet the “paint cannot be flaking or chipped” code a lot easier than can an owner of a property renting for $300 a month. So what of the people who need to live somewhere on a $300 budget?

The requirement of window screens on rented properties is another swipe at mobile home renters. Have you ever tried to buy a new screen for a house made before the country’s bicentennial? They aren’t like screens in other homes so it’s hard to make one from scratch. Does our county’s health and prosperity really hinge on the thread density of rental property screens? To further the war on house trailers, they were also added to the list of items considered to be “inoperable vehicles.”

IPMC Revision 3 << Click to read

The same things can be said of other low-cost rental options.  A house made in the 1930s may not be the Taj Mahal but it could be the last step before homelessness.   Legislate these out of existence and these renters will have nowhere else to live locally and they’ll have to leave.  That’s music to the ears of some developers though — they can’t wait to gentrify areas where they can obtain the property for pennies on the dollar.

I want to put luxury homes here.  Get rid of those poor people that my residents would have to drive past each day!

Much of the IPMC is focused on keeping random strangers happy. Political office-holders simply lack the will to tell a constituent that the property they don’t approve of belongs to another adult who has an equal right to the quiet enjoyment of their land. Everything is about keeping old cars or uncut grass or chipped paint or other equally horrible condition out of the view of others. There’s already a place for that — it’s called a gated community. Move somewhere with strict covenants and a homeowner’s association. Live with like-minded people. The rest of the public at large should not be burdened with these arbitrary standards.

Let your voice be heard! Attend the April 3rd meeting to show the commissioners the IPMC has no place here!

Some Current Property Ordinances

Our code enforcement officer was recently on television and said our existing property ordinances were dated and vague.  Pop over to the online codes and read this section regarding uninhabitable dwellings:

Sec. 18-93. – Duty of owners; public officer designated; enforcement.

See anything there that seems vague or lacking in detail?  Not hardly!  Go on down a little more and read the part about vacant buildings:

Sec. 18-228. – Vacant buildings.

And when they say the current code has no teeth?

“If the violation is not remedied within 180 days from the ruling of the code enforcement panel, or within 180 days from receipt of a notice of violation if no appeal is filed, the code administrator, or his designee, shall issue a citation to the owner for the alleged violation. The citation shall be prosecuted in the Baldwin County Magistrate Court.”

What is their real fault with the existing codes?  They don’t allow them to enforce their appearance standards on us all!   Right now it’s just focused on the core issues of health and public safety.  We’ve got a few retired commissioners who have nothing to do all day and think the rest of us don’t either so we should be required to conform to their vision of an affluent community.

Contact your commissioner!  Remind them that they are there to represent your position, not to force their own onto the citizens!

Forget what you want — they’re going to TELL you how you’re ALLOWED to live on your land!

IPMC: Magical cure for “dated” zoning?

Ahh, they’re at it again with the tired excuse that the current law is ineffective at solving issues involving safety and health.

FOX24/ABC16 News story: Baldwin County IPMC  <<  Click to open

  1. Find someone who has a problem property next door.  Be sure to go to one of the poorest neighborhoods in the county.  Properties here are valued at between $7000 and $15,000 in most cases.  That’s house and land!
  2. Tell him the current ordinances can’t help him but if the IPMC is adopted he’ll be fine.
  3. Trot out the county’s sole inspector to say the current laws are “dated” without ever specifying why they cannot be used in this case.

It makes a good sound bite but none of it is true!  The current property ordinances of Baldwin County prohibit every issue this gentleman is having with the property next to his.  Unsecured abandoned homes are illegal.  Overgrown properties filled with trash are illegal — right now, this very minute, no new laws required.

It’s almost like Mr. Arp has been told to wait until the IPMC is in force so they can really monetize the violations…

The properties in the news story are directly below the “Haynes Snack Bar” marker.

Here is the view from Google Maps.  Do you think the wildlife that Mr. Wesley mentioned is more likely to come from the overgrown 1/4-acre lot next to his, or could it also originate from the 147 acre undeveloped parcel that borders all the homes on his street?

This is what happens when you try to use the urban-oriented IPMC to regulate a rural area.  It’s just the wrong tool for the job!

 

 

Instead of listening to the citizens, a few commissioners have decided that they can decree that the entire county will live by their elitist standards.

 

Cha-ching! Code enforcement = profit

Is it really about improving the standard of living or is it about making money?  The issues of this small town in Missouri are caused by a few restrictive local ordinances combined with the heavy-handed enforcement of the IPMC standards.

Small Town Uses Code Enforcement Laws For Big Payoffs

We’re told that it won’t be an issue here but the people targeted by these standards are exactly the ones least likely to be able to afford to meet them.

 

Forget the peaceful enjoyment of your property. You will meet THEIR standards or else!

 

The current code is (not) unenforceable!

Ask the commissioners why we need the IPMC and they’ll quickly say that the current code is unenforceable — except that is not true at all.  There are plenty of active and closed enforcement cases on the books.

What they really mean to say is that the current code isn’t intrusive enough;  it doesn’t give them the level of control they desire.  Where the current requirements address health and safety of the community, they want to aggressively pursue appearance issues, as if the paint on your house is somehow vital to the county’s success.

Some other examples of provisions you’ll be required to live by:

Section 302.3 — “Sidewalks, walkways,stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repair, and maintained free from hazardous conditions.”

“A proper state of repair” has no legal definition.  This means a simple crack in your driveway, or pot holes in a gravel driveway, could run afoul of this requirement.

Section 302.4 — “Upon failure to comply with the notice of  violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.”

So, they first decide that any non-ornamental plant = weeds and then they write a provision allowing them to cut them down if you don’t.  Remember – this is whether you’re on 1/4 acre or 14 acres!  Technically they could be out in the woods trimming “weeds” because of their poorly-conceived requirements and you’d be paying for it!

Section 302.7 — You’ll love this one!

“Property owners often give detached garages, sheds, fences, retaining walls and similar structures a lower maintenance priority than the primary structure; thus, these structures are more frequently in disrepair. A thorough inspection of all property areas and accessory buildings is necessary to identify violations of the code and to improve a neighborhood’s appearance.”

They know this one will be and endless source of violations (and revenue.)  So much for “visible from the street” with this one.  They’ll be allowed to go through every outbuilding, shed, and fence to make sure it conforms to their standard of beauty.

Section 304.2 — “Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted.”

Section 304.3 — Requires address markings and specifies size, font, and placement.  Nothing under 4 inches in height or you’re in violation!

This is how they envision Baldwin County after the IPMC!

 

There’s a lot more of interest in the IPMC.   If you’re not ready to turn Baldwin County in to a giant homeowner’s association, let your county commissioner know today!  There are links on the site to help you find who represents your district and how to contact them via phone or email.

Like to work on cars? Not in Baldwin County you won’t!

One of the main goals of the IPMC is to banish all “inoperable” vehicles.

Our county manager and some commissioners are dead set against any vehicle anywhere in your yard that is not drivable on demand.  By that definition, even a car with a dead battery is blight and the fine starts at $100 per day.  No matter if you’re out in the country on a dozen acres, there will be no car repair for you.  No restoring antique cars.  No parts cars.  No father-son projects.  No race cars.

“…no inoperative or unlicensed motor vehicle shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.”

So if you don’t have the luxury of having a completely enclosed garage, you don’t deserve to work on your own vehicle.  That’s for common folks and Baldwin County will be like a big country club because that’s what Those Who Decide deem best for us.  Funny how the EPA regulations allow the home hobbyist to paint a couple cars a year outside but the IPMC knows better.

If something major on your car fails and you need to wait a paycheck or two to get it fixed, tough.  Your undrivable car is now blight, and that’ll be $100 a day as soon as they hear about it.

Their notes say:

“Improper storage of inoperable vehicles can be a serious problem for a community. The vehicles are unsightly, clutter the neighborhood, provide a harborage for rodents and are an attractive nuisance for children.”

Unless they can prove that there is a rodent infestation or the vehicle is somehow hazardous, their main complaint is aesthetics.  The great thing about owning property is that it is yours;  your neighbors don’t have to like how you’re using it.  The commissioner’s communities don’t allow you to work on a car and they think that nobody else should be able to either.

 

“Motor vehicles that are in some stage of disrepair or disassembly are often the source of property maintenance complaints. This definition clearly identifies that vehicles that are unlicensed, wrecked, abandoned, in a state of disrepair or incapable of moving under their own power are inoperable.”

Note that they don’t care that there is nothing illegal about these vehicles but rather their presence causes complaints, and complaints must be avoided at all costs.  No commissioner could dare tell someone that adults sometimes have to see things they don’t like because they belong to other people in the peaceful enjoyment of their own property.

Just what do they consider an “abandoned vehicle?”

Section 302.8.
Abandoned Vehicle.
A vehicle, including cars, trucks, trailers, boats, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, manufactured homes, or any other similar vehicle, that meets one or more of the following conditions:
a) Has been left unattended upon a highway, street, or alley or other public property outside a designated parking space for a period of 48 hours; and/or,
b) Is within public view and is inoperable, partially or wholly dismantled, wrecked, junked, discarded, or of similar condition, or any vehicle without a current license plate if required by law, and is located outside of an enclosed building, garage, carport, wrecked motor vehicle compound, or other place of business designated and lawfully used for the storage of such inoperable vehicles, for a period exceeding 30 days unless ongoing significant, visible, and definable work on vehicle is in progress.

So there you have it.  Mobile homes are now abandoned vehicles, and you are no longer worthy of wrenching on your own vehicles because they deem it unseemly and a blight on the community.   If you have an old car in the back yard or just something you tinker with on the weekends, they’re coming for you!

Blight

“His number one task, though, is fighting the blight that affects many portions of the county.” — Baldwin Bulletin article

Blight!

Not exactly.  His number one priority is forcing his view of “a good neighborhood” onto the entire county under the guise of fighting blight.  If you don’t want to live like you’re in a gated community, tough!  Mr. Tobar and the commissioners know better than you do.

 

Compliance Is Voluntary

“his focus has been on creating a new property maintenance code in the county based loosely on IPMC standards and compromising with those opposed to enacting the bill in full to have more leniency on other issues.”

Bwa ha ha!  Compromising!  They’re ramming the IPMC down our throats with barely any editing at all, all with the position that anyone against it must be too backwoods to live in their progressive society.  They’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that mowing the grass in poor neighborhoods will make industry flock to the area.

“or if we get a land bank, we might be able to donate the land to Habitat for Humanity, and they can build a house for a needy family.”

 

And there is the real payoff of the whole deal.  Target specific properties you want, usually those owned by less-affluent people, and then seize them when they can’t pay for upgrades or pay the fines.  Then the land bank can hold them until they find a buyer who will use the land in a way the commissioners see fit.  This is the “Reverse Robin Hood” approach — take from the poor and give it to the rich!  That’s how you turn one of the  $8000 houses on Swint Avenue into a tax-producing piece of property!  But hey, he’ll find some help for them before he takes the property from them.  He isn’t a monster!

Click below to read the county manager’s thoughts on the subject.  While reading, keep in mind that he hasn’t moved to the county yet but he and commissioners Craig, Westmoreland, and Hall are chomping at the bit to tell us how we should live!

Baldwin Bulletin article on Mr. Tobar